Pentagon has increased its funding to more than $5 billion in order to develop the nation’s space war capabilities. The department is working with the intelligence community and private industry in developing command centers that will fend off attack in orbit from Russia and China.
Both Russia and China are emerging as great powers, according to Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work. And by great powers he means they now possess enough military assets to put up a serious fight in an all-out conventional war against the most powerful state in the world, Work said at the GeoInt Symposium held on Tuesday.
Russia and China now possess nuclear deterrent that can survive a nuclear strike, he said.
End of U.S.’s dominance in space
Work said the end to an era where the nation was the world’s only superpower in space technology has ended.
“Russia represents a clear and present danger,” Work highlighted. He said that for 25 years U.S. and the European Union have reached out to Russia but to no avail. At present, Russia is undermining NATO, dominating the Arctic and threatening many of U.S.’s allies, Work said.
China, on the other hand, will present “a significant and varied challenge over the next 25 years.”
“This doesn’t mean to suggest in any way, shape, or form that China and the United States are destined to become adversaries. There will be areas where the two sides will agree and cooperate and other areas where they disagree and won’t,” Work said.
The best response to any threat is a strong conventional and nuclear deterrent capabilities, Work said.
“First, we have to overmatch the technical capabilities of any potential adversary. Second, we have to maintain the ability to project power across transoceanic distances and defeat any adversary’s attempt to project power across inter- or intra-theater distances. Third, we have to routinely demonstrate both capabilities.”
Space is now a contested operational domain
Pentagon will build an operations center in six months, Work announced. This center will receive data from satellites belonging to all government agencies he said. Furthermore, Air Force secretary Deborah James would soon be designated as the principal space advisor to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
Work declared that the space that was once just a “virtual sanctuary” must now “be considered a contested operational domain in ways that we haven’t had to think about in the past.”
Also read: Russia’s Nuclear Weapons Superior Than U.S.
You might be interested: US-China Miscalculation Imminent In South China Sea